EA Sports is back with the latest edition of its Madden NFL franchise, but how does the game shape up in our Madden 24 review? Sports games garner something of a cult-following which often leads to fans buying the game no matter what, but EA has made significant changes to Madden this year. The question remains though, are they any good?
Among the additions to this year’s game is SAPIEN technology, enhanced FieldSENSE system, mini-games, and the return of Superstar mode. There is a lot packed into this year’s game, so let’s dive right in with the new and improved Superstar mode in Madden 24.
Since it was announced, Superstar The League was the game mode I was most excited for. This is where my Madden 24 journey started, and where it looks set to continue for the foreseeable future! There are some negatives of course, but The League keeps me coming back for more despite its obvious flaws.
Starting with the NFL Combine is the perfect way to begin the mode. Everything feels authentic and purposeful in those early scenes, and the excitement builds to the moment you reach the draft. The momentous occasion of signing your first contract falls a bit flat, but all in all it’s a great start to the mode. Once in the game, the new live feedback system for your on-field performance is a brilliant new feature. Being able to visualize your own performance in real time and seeing it fluctuate based on your actions feels incredibly rewarding.
Now onto my gripes. The Madden Cast’s repetitive nature is somewhat irritating, despite it being an exciting immersive feature. Other cutscenes have felt a bit shallow and without purpose, and the new mini-games need to offer more variety. So far it’s been the same three options each time. They are the only concerns regarding a successful re-introduction to The League in Superstar mode.
Superstar Showdown is another fun new feature, combining The Yard and your own Superstar career into one. Strip back the flashing lights and bright colours, and Superstar Showdown is a gritty and tough introduction to football. Honing your skills and competing in Showdown is going to be a lot of fun, and immensely frustrating at the same time!
Moving on from the Superstar modes, Madden Ultimate Team is a staple of the game. As someone more familiar with FIFA Ultimate Team, the first impressions of the MUT interface were far from positive. Across the game, the loading times and latency are a bit slower than what we have become accustomed to on next-gen consoles, but MUT took things to the extreme. It felt like navigating the menus was the hardest part of the game. Aside from that, there really is no faulting a mode which stands strong across EA’s sports titles. Perfectly fit for purpose, once the game is running smoothly.
Franchise mode is another cornerstone of the game. A host of changes have been introduced this season, and the classic mode has benefited greatly from the revamp. To begin with, the new relocation options provide a much wider array of opportunities to shape your franchise. Whether you take your team to a new city or state, or take the NFL international like the London Nighthawks, the choice is yours. Adding to this, the selection of new uniforms and team names has also been vastly improved, providing a much more unique feel to your save.
The ability to prepare your team for the upcoming game through the return of Training Camp is massive. Paired with mini-games, you genuinely feel the benefit of this feature when it comes to game day. While player performance is largely down to your own skill at the game, creating the strategy and executing it in Madden 24 feels incredibly rewarding. Being able to create sessions to boost the specific areas your team needs to succeed is a big win this season. So early in the cycle we are yet to see a new draft class, but these are said to have been rejuvenated too with more generational talents, 99 Club prospects, and multi-dimensional players.
As a whole, to compare Madden 24 to a quarterback, it would be Kirk Cousins. It’s no frills, no spills, but it gets the job done and is extremely like-able. While we all want a flashy star like Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Madden 24, like Cousins, is dependable. There is more it could offer for sure, but for another year we are more than satisfied with Madden 24.
Reviews on PS5. Game provided by the publisher.